Next SFF Author: Catriona Ward
Previous SFF Author: Evangeline Walton

SFF Author: Jo Walton

Jo Walton(1964- )
Jo Walton’s Tooth and Claw won the World Fantasy Best Novel award in 2004. You can read excerpts of her novels and some of Jo Walton’s poetry at her website.



testing

Tooth and Claw: Pride and Prejudice with Dragons

Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

Bon Agornin, patriarch of a well-off family, is on his death bed. His family has gathered around him, including his oldest son Penn, who is a country parson, and Avan, the younger brother who is making his way up in the bureaucracy of the capital city. Also there are his unmarried daughters Haner and Selendra, and oldest daughter Berend, who is married to Daverak, a young nobleman. When Daverak claims a large part of Bon’s wealth, a complex family drama starts, involving an inheritance battle and the search for suitable matches for the young daughters.


Read More



testing

Farthing: A country-house murder mystery in a dark alternate timeline

Farthing by Jo Walton

At first glance, it seems like Farthing, Book One in Jo Walton’s SMALL CHANGE trilogy, could have been written by Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers or Elizabeth George. At a house party in the home of an aristocratic British family, a guest is found dead, his body staged to throw suspicion on another guest specifically. Soon clouds of secrets, lies, betrayals and adulteries fill the air. Peter Carmichael, the Scotland Yard Inspector sent to investigate, must fight his way through those clouds,


Read More



testing

Ha’Penny: How do you make a difference in a dictatorship?

Ha’Penny by Jo Walton

(May contain spoilers for the previous book, Farthing.)

Ha’Penny is the second book in Jo Walton’s dark alternate history series SMALL CHANGE. The “small change” that created this world is the refusal of America to get involved in the war in Europe, in 1941. From that small “counterfactual” sprang a world where, by 1949, Europe is largely under the control of Hitler, who is at war with Stalin for the rest. Britain negotiated a “peace with honor” with Germany and has now fully embraced fascism.


Read More



testing

Half a Crown: The most optimistic, but weakest, book of the trilogy

Half a Crown by Jo Walton

(Warning: may contain spoilers of the two previous books.)

In the foreword to Half a Crown, Jo Walton says that she is by nature an optimistic person and that’s why she wrote the SMALL CHANGE series (which she refers to as Still Life with Fascists). Half a Crown, the final book in the trilogy, is admittedly more optimistic that the first two. Sadly, in several ways it’s the weakest of the three,


Read More



testing

Among Others: A novel for bibliotropes

Among Others by Jo Walton

Kids nowadays have it easy. If you’re into fantasy, there’s a good chance that the books you like have a devoted following and a few dedicated web sites. There may be movie franchises and/or an HBO series about them. You can buy Team Jacob/Team Edward shirts, Harry Potter glasses and A Game of Thrones calendars. There may be book release parties, even people sleeping in front of the bookstore when the next book is due out. There’s GoodReads,


Read More



testing

What Makes This Book So Great: Concise insights, evangelistic joy

What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton

In 2008, Jo Walton began a regular column over at Tor.com on the books she was reading. Actually, mostly re-reading. She was invited to blog on the site because, as Patrick Nielsen Hayden told her, she was “always saying smart things about books nobody else had thought about for ages.” In What Makes This Book So Great, she’s collected about a fifth of those posts and presented them in brief essays, being careful to point out she is doing so as neither a reviewer (who mostly cover new works) nor a critic.


Read More



testing

The Just City: Plato’s Republic in Atlantis, with Greek gods and robots

The Just City by Jo Walton

When you’re Apollo, son of Zeus, and a nymph prefers to turn herself into a tree rather than have sex with you, you know it’s time to think seriously about the life you’re leading.

After asking his sister Athena why the nymph Daphne didn’t want to have sex with him, a notion that perplexes him initially (for, as a god, Apollo isn’t used to people not wanting to have sex with him) he decides to reincarnate in the body of a newborn child to become a part of Athena’s latest experiment: An actualized version of Plato’s Republic run by people from all human eras who have dreamed of living in Plato’s creation,


Read More



testing

The Philosopher Kings: Surprises and philosophy, with a touch of Greek mythology

The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton

My jaw remained open whilst I read the last pages of Jo Walton’s The Just City, and for a little while afterwards. Released earlier this year, Walton’s first novel in a new trilogy saw the start of a story whose foundational ideas are so wild, so daring, that only an author with the fullest grasp of her talent could even think of trying to wrestle with them, let alone to actually subdue and then use them to write an engaging story.


Read More



testing

Starlings: A worthwhile journey into a writer’s mind

Starlings by Jo Walton

I’m honestly not quite sure of how to review Jo Walton’s 2018 collection of short stories, Starlings. As a fiction read, it left me greatly wanting, with many of the stories (there are also poems and one play, but more on those later) feeling undeveloped, slight, and too one-note, so that most frequent reaction was “nice idea, but …” with the “but” mostly signifying a response that really wasn’t a response. And so what’s the problem, you might be thinking.


Read More



testing

An Informal History of the Hugos: A good SF reference work

An Informal History of the Hugos: A Personal Look Back at the Hugo Awards 1953-2000 by Jo Walton

Jo Walton has long been one of the more popular bloggers over at Tor.com thanks to a winning combination of literary insight, genre knowledge, and enthusiasm. A few years ago, she published a collection of her posts on rereading some of her personal favorites under the title What Makes This Book So Great. Now she’s out with another collection of blog posts (these from 2010-2013) entitled An Informal History of the Hugos: A Personal Look Back at the Hugo Awards 1953-2000.


Read More



testing

Lent: Big twist makes for a powerful exploration of deep themes

Lent by Jo Walton

Jo Walton writes truly thoughtful books, as anyone who has read her THESSALY TRILOGY (The Just City, The Philosopher Kings, Necessity) knows. She’s also, those fans also know, a big fan of Renaissance Italy, particularly Florence. So it comes as no surprise to find this the setting for her newest novel, Lent (2019), which wrestles in the same thought-provoking manner major issues,


Read More



testing

Or What You Will: Some strands more successful than others

Or What You Will by Jo Walton

Or What You Will (2020), by Jo Walton, is an at times charming, at times frustrating work of metafiction that reads, even distanced by the novelist’s artifice, as a warmly personal, almost intimate love letter to Florence, the Renaissance, art, reading, the classics, and creativity. I’m guessing it will receive a mixed, varied response from Walton’s readers.

Sylvia Harrison is a mid-range author of a good number of novels, including several set in the quasi-fantastical Illyria — imagine Renaissance Florence with magic where people do not die save by willful intent (their own giving up of life,


Read More



testing

SHORTS: Sanford, Palwick, Walton, Hill, Sullivan, Kemp

Here are a few shorter SFF works that we read this week that we wanted you to know about. Some great finds this week!

Blood Grains Speak Through Memories by Jason Sanford (March 2016, free at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, free ebook available on the author’s website)

Frere-Jones Roeder is the anchor of her land, charged with its protection and maintenance. The blood grains flow through her body, sharing memories of past anchors and giving her senses knowledge of all of the life and activity on her two-league plot of land,


Read More



testing

SHORTS: Barthelme, McGuire, Hurley, Wong, Vaughn, Anders, Headley, Shawl, Bolander, Walton, El-Mohtar, Valente, Dick

Our weekly exploration of free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about. 

“Report” by Donald Barthelme (1967, originally published in the New Yorker, free at Jessamyn.com (reprinted by permission), also collected in Sixty Stories)

“Our group is against the war. But the war goes on. I was sent to Cleveland to talk to the engineers. The engineers were meeting in Cleveland. I was supposed to persuade them not to do what they were going to do.”

“Report,” by Donald Barthelme,


Read More



testing

Mythic II: Compact and precise

Mythic II edited by Mike Allen

Much like its predecessor Mythic, Mythic 2 feels compact and precise. Both the prose and poetry (and everything else in between) are easy to read and have a lyrical tonality. The anthology is even and consistent, with no sudden drops or spikes in the quality. Editor Mike Allen also continues the format of alternating between both mediums, which makes the book work.

For the most part, I found the poems to be decent and the fiction enjoyable.


Read More



testing

Twenty-First Century Science Fiction: Packed full of excellent SF stories

Twenty-First Century Science Fiction edited by David G. Hartwell

Twenty-First Century Science Fiction is packed full of excellent science fiction stories. I’ve been reading anthologies lately, partly to improve my own short story writing, and this is the best I’ve found so far. It contains stories by authors such as Paolo Bacigalupi, Cory Doctorow, Catherynne M. ValenteJohn Scalzi, Jo Walton, Charles Stross, Elizabeth Bear, Mary Robinette Kowal,


Read More



  • 1
  • 2
Next SFF Author: Catriona Ward
Previous SFF Author: Evangeline Walton

We have reviewed 8327 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

Subscribe to all posts:

Get notified about Giveaways:

Support FanLit

Want to help us defray the cost of domains, hosting, software, and postage for giveaways? Donate here:


You can support FanLit (for free) by using these links when you shop at Amazon:

US          UK         CANADA

Or, in the US, simply click the book covers we show. We receive referral fees for all purchases (not just books). This has no impact on the price and we can't see what you buy. This is how we pay for hosting and postage for our GIVEAWAYS. Thank you for your support!
Try Audible for Free

Recent Discussion:

  1. Avatar
  2. Avatar
  3. Marion Deeds
  4. Avatar
July 2024
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031